Sat. May 18th, 2024

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum


[email protected]

June 11, 2023

The United States was the greatest nation in the world, the US led the world to WWII victory in 1945 and maintained global order since then. Unfortunately, this great nation now faces all kind of challenges and struggling. Yes, the US is still the largest economy in the world and her military power is still the strongest with an expansive yet unmatched global footprint.

The main cause of decline must be from within the US; thus, any relief must also come from a sincere self-reflection and adjustment. Simply blame outside or foreign enemies will not help the US recovery. Of course, many foreign adversaries would be happy to accelerate the US decay.

The latest political drama in the US was the 37 federal charges against the former President Donald J. Trump. These charges are very serious, but they are not unexpected at all. There is another major case against Trump should come out soon: the January 6th, 2021, attack Congress. It could be more explosive.

Nearly half — 48% — of Americans think Trump should have been charged in this case, whereas 35% think he should not have been and 17% saying they do not know, per the ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted using Ipsos’ Knowledge Panel. And at least a plurality of Americans say they do see politics behind the charges — in fact, 47% of the public believe the charges against Trump are politically motivated. Most Republicans (80%) align with that view, with only a sliver (9%) believing the charges were not based on politics. But the lion’s share of Democrats (71%) find the charges to be not based on politics, while 16% say they were politically motivated, and 13% have yet to make up their minds.

Significantly: While President Joe Biden’s favorability stands at 31%, Trump’s favorability rating has improved since his first indictment — up from 25% then to 31% now.

The next US general election is scheduled for November 5, 2024, we can be assured that, from today, the US will be gradually engulfed by the campaigns for the next president between Biden and Trump. We can almost be sure that no matter who will be in the White House after January 2025, the US would be even more divided than today. The future of the great nation?

Worldwide, Trump’s latest legal woes draw outrage, silence, shrugs

The world, it seems, is once again gawking at the messiness of the US and calculating the costs and opportunities of the latest Trump revelations. 

NEW YORK – As details emerged from the indictment charging former US president Donald Trump with mishandling classified documents, global reaction ranged from strategic silence to unbridled outrage, with room in between for world-weary shrugs, wild conspiracy theories and ominous predictions of America’s decline.

China’s propaganda machine, which would normally leap on a US scandal, stayed quiet. Russian commentators called the charges a fake production of the “deep state”.

And among American allies in Asia and Europe, there were concerns that the episode hurt not just the former president but also the United States by highlighting that security secrets were not safe in its hands.

The world, it seems, is once again gawking at the messiness of the US and calculating the costs and opportunities of the latest Trump revelations transfixing and dividing the country.

Many countries chose silence in public and eye rolls in private. “Save your energy because there will be other things to react to,” said Associate Professor Chong Ja Ian, a political scientist at the National University of Singapore.

Nonetheless, that did not mean that the episode would pass unnoticed – or fail to be exploited by other nations trying to tilt the world away from US leadership.

For China, publicly ignoring Trump’s indictment may have reflected deeper, long-term goals. In Europe, the accusations of mishandling of classified information were deeply worrisome. The bloc is anxiously following the political drama unfolding across the Atlantic, questioning whether it would help or hurt the former president’s campaign and European security.

US’ political divide, senseless policies eat into its competitiveness

By Wen Sheng Published: Jun 04, 2023 07:38 PM

US President Joe Biden defined in January in his State of the Union address that the relationship between the two global powers is that of strategic competitors, claiming that his country stands “in strongest position” to compete with China. His signature “decoupling” or “de-risking” from China is a departure from US’ previous policy of constructive engagement.

Not everybody in the US shares Biden’s thinking and policy orientation, with a growing number of renowned scholars and essayists warning that the US doesn’t have a lock on any systematic advantage and whole-society cultural mandate to compete with China. Indeed, the US is divided and increasingly polarized. The US’ highly partisan and often confrontational politics involving the Republicans and Democrats, and the widening gap and feud between the haves and have-nots, mean the country faces an insurmountable obstacle and difficulty to take on China in future competition.

Sadly, the previous Obama and Trump administrations, representing two different political ideologies, had distinct approaches to energy policy, which had profound complications – proof that the political detachment of the Democratic and Republican parties is hamstringing the country’s core interests and global competitiveness.

Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appropriated $70 billion in tax credits and direct spending for programs involving clean energy. One year after Obama took office in 2010, Tesla received a $465 million federal loan. When Trump came into power in 2016, he prioritized expansion of fossil fuel production, including oil, gas and coal. He rolled back on Obama’s Clean Power Plan, withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, citing concerns about the impact on US economic sovereignty.

Meanwhile, inflation has been inhibiting the US economy since the second half of 2021 and continues to eat into the pocketbooks of US families. The Federal Reserve could do little but tighten its monetary policy by raising rates. Kristalina Georgieva, head of the IMF, on Friday warned that US interest rates would need to stay higher for longer to tame inflation that had been more persistent and entrenched in the US economic system than anticipated.

Further, in a recent development, the US government and market traders are euphoric that Biden and his Republican opponents avoided a federal default by approving the raising of the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt limit. Almost everyone is happy with the debt ceiling increase, but nobody has shown any interest in reducing the surging debt, which is poised to top $50 trillion by the end of this decade. Won’t the bulging fiscal arrears act like a ticking time-bomb that will one day detonate and upend the US’ avowed contest with China?

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